2023 Jim Leech Foundation Mastercard Scholarship on Entrepreneurship for young African students and recent graduates.

Application deadline: December 4, 2022.

Jim Leech Foundation Mastercard Scholarship on Entrepreneurship gives African students and recent graduates the opportunity to access training, resources, financial support and a network of mentors to develop their entrepreneurial skills and start building their own business. The 8-month program develops the exceptional business mindset and skills of leaders to drive social and financial impact.


  • the Jim Leech Foundation Mastercard Scholarship it accepts students and recent graduates from all academic disciplines and from any African post-secondary institution. Whether you’re already working in a business or looking to start something new, we can help.
  • The scholarship seeks participants who are committed to developing their entrepreneurial mindset and leveraging the resources provided to develop their own business. The program is delivered virtually and can be completed at any pace, however the most committed participants will commit to at least 10 hours per week. To progress through the phases of the program, participants will submit assignments online, adhering to strict deadlines.
  • The content of the program is delivered in English. Tutoring can be offered in English and French.

Program Benefits

Best in class workout

  • Business bootcamp taught by Queen’s University faculty and industry leaders who bring decades of combined business and C-Suite experience
  • The Disciplined Entrepreneurship framework, a proven step-by-step framework for scalable startups developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Pitch coaching and mastery
  • Live workshops on marketing, goal setting, and recruiting are held throughout the program.
  • Opportunity to earn micro-credentials in Entrepreneurship awarded by Queen’s University for successful course completion

Mentoring and Networking

  • Liaise with mentors and speakers leading innovation and entrepreneurship in North America
  • Access a global network of entrepreneurial Queen alumni
  • Join a cohort of thousands of like-minded students and recent graduates from across Africa
  • Fellows are paired with industry leaders and entrepreneurs in the final phase of the program.
  • Receive feedback on important startup milestones

Financial support

  • Up to 60 fellows will be selected in the final phase to receive a $500 CAD stipend
  • Opportunities to pitch for prizes of up to $15,000 CAD in the pitching competition at the end of the program
  • Opportunities to travel to the Dunin-Deshpande Queen Innovation Center to build lasting connections to help drive your business venture forward

Program Timeline

Phase 1: Explore (January-February)

More than 1,000 exceptional candidates receive access to a curated list of online entrepreneurship courses and work through the first 11 steps of the disciplined entrepreneurship framework workbook. Candidates have several months to demonstrate their commitment to the business process by completing training and progressing through their respective idea milestones.

Phase 2: Ignite (March-April)

More than 180 finalists with an outstanding commitment to the entrepreneurship process, who have excelled in the milestones established in phase one, will be selected to join this phase. In this phase, they will continue to go through an additional curated list of additional online entrepreneurship courses and work through the remaining steps of the Disciplined Entrepreneurship Framework Workbook. At the end of this phase, the participants will present their ideas, competing for the grant, and the most advanced and promising business ideas will become the finalists who receive the grant.

Phase 3: Launch and Fellowship (May-August)

Up to 60 fellows will be selected to join the DDQIC summer incubator program. During this phase, fellows will have the opportunity to work on their ideas, access seed funding, and participate in weekly 3-2-1 presentations on the work they are doing as they transform their ideas into scalable startups. Additionally, fellows will receive a $500 stipend and dedicated coaches and mentors from DDQIC’s global network of industry experts and entrepreneurs. Scholars will have the opportunity to compete in a pitching contest for additional seed funds at the end of the program.

Graduation (August)

Startup entrepreneurs (Fellows) will complete their incubation program at the end of August. After graduation, fellows will continue to receive post-incubation services, support, and presentation competition opportunities as part of the DDQIC network.

High-achieving scholars will also be invited to participate as ambassadors and mentors for future Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation scholarships.

For more information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Jim Leech Foundation Mastercard Scholarship Program 2023

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